There was plenty of incorrect information put out over the weekend from Qatar Airways suspending all flights to UAE banning all visitors, and neither of these two was correct.
Qatar Airways continues to fly, and all transit/transfer passengers are welcomed. Passengers who are not Qatari nationals cannot enter the country, however. UAE has stopped issuing entry visas, but passengers who hold passports from countries without visa requirements can continue to enter normally.
There has been an update on March 18:
Here’s the Qatar announcement:
Under the instructions of the Ministry of Public Health, from midnight Wednesday evening, 18 March, entry to the State of Qatar will only be allowed for Qatari nationals, who will be required to enter quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Passport holders of other nations will no longer be granted entry for a period of 14 days, after which the restrictions will be reviewed. Passengers with onward connections through HIA will be accepted for travel and Qatar Airways’ global network will continue its operation for transit passengers as normal. Cargo operations remain unaffected.
And here from the Dubai airport:
March 16, 2020 – The safety and wellbeing of all our customers and community members is of paramount importance at this time. By working closely with the Dubai Health Authority, we are ensuring the correct procedures are taken in the airport environment. Dubai Airports continues to maintain strict cleanliness and hygiene standards.
As part of our response to the ongoing situation around Covid-19, Dubai Airports can confirm the following information, as directed by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the UAE health authorities and other relevant authorities. Given airlines may have implemented flight cancellations for commercial reasons, we advise customers to check with their airline in advance of travel.
Issuance of Visas
Effective March 17, UAE authorities have temporarily suspended the issuance of entry visas. This does not apply to those passengers holding diplomatic passports (exceptions apply, check prior to travel) or those who have had visas issued prior to March 17.
It also does not apply to passengers who hold passports from the following countries. These passengers can continue to travel to and from the UAE although may be subject to additional screening.
Andorra Estonia Maldives Slovakia Argentina Finland Malta Slovenia Australia France Mauritius Solomon Islands Austria Germany Mexico South Korea Bahamas Greece Monaco Spain Barbados Holland Montenegro Sweden Belgium Honduras Nauru Switzerland Brazil Hong Kong New Zealand Ukraine Brunei Hungary Norway USA Bulgaria Iceland Paraguay United Kingdom Canada Italy Poland Uruguay Chile Japan Portugal Vatican City China Kazakhstan Republic of Ireland Colombia Kiribati Romania Costa Rica Latvia Russia Croatia Liechtenstein Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Cyprus Lithuania San Marino Czech Republic Luxembourg Serbia Denmark Macau Seychelles El Salvador Malaysia Singapore
Screening on Arrival
On arrival to Dubai International (DXB) all passengers will go through a non-intrusive thermal scanning process as they pass through customs.
Those arriving from any of the countries listed below will undergo thermal screening and nasal swab. This level of screening is being carried out by Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) airport medical centre team at Dubai International (DXB) and limited to the following countries:
- Italy – Rome
- Lebanon (until March 16)
- People’s Republic of China – Beijing
- Syria (until March 16)
Screening on Departure
All passengers departing on passenger flights bound for destinations in the United States will also undergo thermal screening.
There is an information overflow when it comes to all these travel and entry requirements that are hastily put in place. Some are dependent on what passport you have while others which countries or areas you have been or sometimes even transited in the past 14 days.
There is very little, if any, advance notice of these changes at the moment. It seems that UAE is keeping its doors open for most western nationals.